As a firm, Berwins has a proud reputation as a winning team, offering expert legal services which help people and businesses at every stage of their journeys - an area I'm personally involved in with Berwins' CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) accredited Residential Property team.
Over the past few months, I’ve found myself in contact with another winning team - The National Health Service, an organisation which has reached the grand old age of 70 – retirement age for most of us but not, I’m glad to say, for the NHS.
Like the generous employers they are, the directors at Berwins provide staff with private health care but there are occasions where it’s not relevant and I have recently found myself in that position, having received a diagnosis of cancer.
I had heard people say that when needed the NHS really swings into action and boy, doesn’t it just. Within a month I was booked into St James’s Hospital in Leeds for surgery having had tests and meetings at Harrogate with my fantastic consultant and equally fantastic Macmillan nurse team and I duly presented myself at 7.00 am (6.15 am actually – we didn’t realise how quiet the traffic would be at that time of day). My lovely children were packed off to get some breakfast, lucky things, whilst I sipped water only to be told late in the morning that my operation was cancelled.
Now, please don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely no way I am complaining here. Everyone at Berwins knows how well I have been treated by everyone I have come across on this journey of mine and a cancelled operation is just one of those things that can happen – somebody more poorly than me needed that bed in HDU that day.
My operation was re-scheduled for the following week and went ahead without a hitch and I’m now back at home, having timed things beautifully so that I can watch Wimbledon.
This experience has made me think. I wrongly assumed that there just wasn’t a bed available in HDU when I needed it – wrong, there was. There just weren’t enough nurses.
On the day my operation was cancelled, my surgical team were all ready and then left with nothing to do for the afternoon. I asked my consultant what the cost to the NHS was - £18 per minute was the reply. What an incredible waste for the cost of nurse for a day.
My consultant fought my corner hard when my operation seemed likely to be cancelled again for the same reason and for that I shall be eternally grateful to him – it’s a brave man who takes on the Head of Nursing. However, I’m also acutely conscious that somebody else had their operation cancelled, possibly for a second time too and that really should not happen.
I know that I am receiving the best possible care from a whole host of people some of whom, such as Macmillan, are funded by donations but the majority so far are paid by you and me. The NHS is not an inanimate object – it is an organism made up of a bunch of ordinary people doing an exceptional job for not a huge financial reward.
I bet everyone reading this knows somebody who has benefitted from our precious NHS in a similar way to me. Being a winning team, takes investment and dedication. Please don’t take it for granted, write to your MP, as I shall, so that it remains the envy of the world.